Monday, August 24, 2009

More than what you say I am

Taking a moment from my newly established routine (one that I'm desperately trying to cultivate to controlling perfection) to check email and thought I'd throw a blog into the blogosphere while Josiah plays on the floor. He's on his back under this hanging contraption of monkeys and what is that? a zebra? Monkeys and something striped (?), slowly rotating 360 degrees on his back. I lay him down facing one direction and slowly but surely he turns himself completely around and back again. It's so funny looking down after only two or three minutes to see him in a completely new location.

I got heated this morning. Not a hormonal hot flash, but a hot-under-the-collar kind of heat. Watching the "Today Show," they were praising the new generation of women having babies in their fifties due to personal preference and career goals. They touted facts about men having babies well into their seventies (something I recently heard actually does increase the chance of birth defects and mental delays in the babies), and they had a new "feministic" (a Kathleen-coined word) attitude about it being so wonderful that these pioneers feel free to start families whenever they want. But how sad for their children! The mother they interviewed has a four year old daughter and is approaching 56 years of age. She said she waited because she wanted to pursue her career to the fullest extent before having children. Once she felt "financially satisfied" she decided to have a baby. Now her little girl has to endure the cold hard facts that mommy may not be there for graduations, wedding, and the birth of her own children. This woman sits on top of a pile of earned income feeling fully confident in her decision, but how very sad for her to potentially rob her daughter of time with her. Enduring life hurdles without a mother is so sad.

I read a book once that talked about the importance of daughters having a mother in their life for the milestone years, and a Disney producer was interviewed. He said the reason Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Jasmine, Belle, Mulan, etc. don't have mothers is because they are all princesses who are strong in spirit and mind but in order for the story to work (for them to need some kind of rescue, be it by a fairy, a spell, a wish or a prince), they have to have a very tragic limitation in their story. What is the saddest limiting factor of all? They don't have mothers. Not a single one of them.

But apparently we live in a culture that encourages this kind of "brave pursuit of having-it-all". Or so they said on "Today". Completely ignoring the obvious- the fact that eventually time will catch up with them and either drain them of energy when their children need them the most, or death will claim them- they went on to applaud these liberated women who seek to prove that you CAN have it all. But in truth, you can't. You can have only what God blesses you with, and when we take our lives into our own control and try to squeeze in all the earthly goals we'd like to accomplish before we die, we miss God's will for our lives. Something is compromised, whether we realize it or not. You cannot be the most amazing CEO your company has ever seen AND be the most loving, giving, and available mother your child could possibly have. One or the other must suffer. And God designed it that way.

In Max Lucado's book Cure for the Common Life, he says that when we teach our kids that they can do anything and be everything, we're lying to them. They can do whatever God allows them to do, but they can't do everything with our full hearts, minds, and bodies unless it's what God has willed for us to do. Sure, you can force yourself to be a chef, and you may be a good chef... but what if all along God was calling you to be a teacher? If you'd answered that calling and fulfilled God's will for your life by picking up the natural tools your Creator stitched into you from birth, you might have been absolutely amazing.

But we as people want what we want, so we'll settle for "good," "average," or "ok" when we could be stunning.

Another (shorter) rant that set me off this morning was the fact that inevitably whenever they spotlight one of these trailblazers seeking to completely redefine feminism (I used to think it was simply a movement that would allow women to do whatever they wanted- whether that meant be at home with their children or on top of a skyscraper welding steel), they don't use facts or statistical data to support their stance, they just tear down other people groups - other women- to justify their choices.

This morning they didn't say "Having children in your fifties is a new trend which statistically raises more confident and intelligent children and increases family values by allowing more time spent together due to retirement". Instead they ignored the hard-core data about Down Syndrome risks, IUGR babies, chromosomal abnormalities, and the toll age takes on a woman. To support their push, they threw out "facts" like "A woman in her fifties is more likely to be a better mother because she has already completed most of her career goals, so she won't be resentful of her child like a woman in her twenties or thirties. She's less selfish than her twenty-something counterpart as well. And more mature." Those aren't facts! Those are just opinions that completely alienate mothers ages 20-39! My career goals are to be a good mother right now. I've said it before, all I ever really wanted was to be a parent. My career goals may change in the future, but because Josiah exists, he is my job. Period. And I think God created it that way. I don't think I'm selfish or distracted or resentful. And I'm one of those "immature" 20-somethings they spoke about.

I'm not opposed to them presenting women who choose a different path from mine, but I wish that when magazines and talk shows turned the spotlight on working moms, older moms, single-by-choice moms, or gay moms, they wouldn't use hurtful opinions about stay-at-home moms, married moms, straight moms or young moms to support their lifestyle choices. I love what I do and how I do it and who I am because I feel it's what's best for me, Travis and Josiah, and I feel like this is what God is calling me to do. Not because it's better than some other woman. If you have to tear down someone else (like 20-somethings or SAHM's) to justify your choices, perhaps there's guilt or the lack of a better reason behind it that you need to investigate within yourself.

Do what you want, but leave us out of it.

End daily rant!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Guilt and Motherhood

Guilt and motherhood go together like Pampers and a Diaper Genie. I don't understand why upon giving birth to my son I also was born into this stressful lifestyle of guilt, regret, doubt and resentment, but here I am. And I know I'm not alone.

The expectations are set so high for motherhood these days, one can hardly keep up. Despite the fact that I am still nursing my son at five months, and despite the fact that I stay at home with him all day, and I sing to him daily and read to him nightly, and offer up loads of cuddles and infant massages, I still feel constantly bombarded by guilt and that tingling desire to compare myself to other mothers.

Among my daily list of guilt that weighs on my chest is the guilt that I am not nursing enough. I tell myself other women exclusively nurse, not allowing a drop of formula to touch their child's lips... I know he's getting the benefits of it, even from one single ounce, but somehow I still worry over it constantly. Yes, I supplement with formula when it's convenient, when my personal supply is low, or when I'm just too exhausted to function. I cringe when I have to do it. What's crazy is, I don't remotely look down on mothers who only use formula. I feel guilty because I set out to do something -breastfeed- and now I'm riding the fence between the two. Does that make me a failure?

Daily guilt #2: I'm not stimulating him enough.

There are music classes and swimming classes and baby yoga and infant art classes and baby book clubs and infant sign language courses and literally dozens of resources at the library telling me everything in the world NOT to do with my child (don't watch tv, don't introduce to technology, don't watch movies, etc.), and I can't keep up! I've already broken him! We watched "Winnie the Pooh" just the other day. And this morning, as we were passing through the bedroom, Barney magically drew in his full attention with a rousing rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". Before I could throw myself sacrificially in front of our tiny 12inch tv, Josiah was stuck like glue on the purple dinosaur, smiling and giggling at the music and bright colors.

We don't do yoga during the day. I've never taken him to a baby music class. He's been in the pool only once, and I don't think he liked it very much. According to some, I'm dooming him to a life of mediocrity!

I feel guilty because despite the fact that I'm here with him all day everyday, I don't feel like I hold him enough. When I put him down for an hour or more to get some things done around the house (or even just to take a shower), I feel like I'm ruining our bond. I pale in comparison to mothers who constantly wear their children in slings. I read about the deep bond that creates, and I feel guilty. What if we don't have a bond? According to some extremists, I'm downright neglectful to leave him in his swing while I do the dishes and a load of laundry for one whole hour.

So, what's a mother to do? I don't want his brain to turn to rot from the occasional Pooh Bear, Big Bird or Barney exposure, but on the same token, these are the joys of childhood I grew up with, and I want to share them with him. I don't want to fail him intellectually, but I don't desire to try teaching him yoga or his state capitals this week either! I want him to receive all the nutritional benefits of breast milk, but sometimes I have to allow Travis to give him formula.

I opened up this month's issue of my favorite baby magazine and found an article written by a mother experiencing the same nursing woes as me. She supplemented with her eldest, and eventually weaned him at the early age of three months. The first half of the article made me feel great. I thought I wasn't alone! I'd found a great mother who not only felt the same way I did, but justified her actions and explained that you can still be a wonderful mother even if you aren't on the extreme end of the pendulum... Until the fourth paragraph. I was betrayed!

She said her son had chronic ear infections and more than one tubal implant in his ear canal, the results of all those bottles as an infant! She went on to talk about how with her next three children, she vowed to nurse until they were two, never supplementing with formula or sugar water along the way. Her big, excited conclusion was a declaration of her success, and how the latter three children never suffered from ear infections, and never struggled with the adolescent weight gain which some sources suggest can be a result of ingesting formula as an infant. My article-writing confidant went off the deep end. She lost me. She went from real woman, real mom doing what she needed to do to make her situation with her son work (even if it meant cutting corners here and there) to succumbing to those guilty feelings and entering the world of the rarely attainable.

Well, unfortunately for me, the reader, I won't have the opportunity to have a baseball team's worth of future children to "make right" on. This is the only -biological- one I get. So what am I to do?

If I can't make up for missed cuddles and missed nursing opportunities with this one, how do I assuage my guilt? I think the best solution for me is to remind myself daily that he's happy, he's healthy, and when he starts to get fussy in his swing, and I put down the dishes to go to him, he kicks and gets more excited and gives me smiles bigger than any episode of Barney could ever bring about. He loves me. And I love him. And I'll continue to show him that love in anyway I can, with or without infant music classes or baby yoga. I may always feel slightly guilty when I give him formula, but I will cherish the opportunities to cuddle and to play with his chubby star shaped hands while he nurses, realizing some women never get to experience such a moment at all.

We need to just stop being so hard on each other, start encouraging each other more, and always remember that motherhood is the absolute hardest job on earth. Hopefully if there are any mothers out there reading this, you'll feel a little easier carrying that guilt that all mothers carry. You aren't alone, Big Bird isn't out to steal your child's brain, formula won't rot his insides, and it's ok for her to play by herself for an hour while you take a shower. So sayeth me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Autumn, Here We Come

Travis and I are about to embark on another school year. I HATE MARCHING SEASON. Did I say that loud enough? I hate it hate it hate it. My husband disappears from August to December. He is never available on the weekends for anything, and comes home late late late at night on Friday nights, which makes me worry because I am a worrier naturally and because all I can think about is drunk high school kids driving home from football games.

I rationally know that all the world is not actually a Valerie Bertinelli made-for-tv movie, but somehow my imagination takes over, and when he's more than fifteen minutes late returning home from an out of town game, a scene from a Lifetime Original flashes through my brain, and I panic.

We're slowly making our rounds to family members announcing our plans to home school Josiah. Unfortunately, the only materials I can find are from freakishly religious zealots out to convert the world. In reading their books, I'm not sure if they're trying to convert me to Christianity or homeschooling. Personally, I'd rather be left alone. Just give me the facts, Max.

We've decided to "wear" our decision for a while, see how it feels, see how it works, and keep an open mind. We'll regroup at the end of every year with a pow-wow to analyse whether it's still working for Josiah first and foremost, and for me as well. I like homeschooling for a million different reasons, and basically none of them are religious. Gasp. Oh I hope I hope the ladies in the homeschooling circle will accept me despite my radicalism.

Plain and simple, I think he could learn more, at his own pace, in a more creative and conducive environment if I took direct charge of his education from the home.


I have no weird agenda against the public school system. My husband and I are both products of it, and my husband is a teacher in a public school for crying out loud. And I'm not out to teach my son that the world is full of evil and therefore we must be separate from it. I just like the flexibility that teaching and learning outside of the classroom can provide. I'm a huge believer in hands-on learning, and a huge supporter of year-round schools. The summer drain takes a lot out of a kid, and so much has to be retaught come August. I think kids would be less wiped out if school went year-round with more frequent breaks in between. I think the schedule as is fills up their minds to the absolute breaking point, gives them an all-too-long break, and then brings them back only to cram them as full as possible again, punctuated with another far-too-long break. The cycle continues. And somehow classes are not linked together. It never occurred to me in high school that my 10th grade English class was preparing me for my 11th grade English class. I thought it was preparing me for a huge state mandated test at the end of the year and then a bucket full of summer fun! I realize now that 10th grade English was supposed to be a stepping stone into 11th grade English. Huh. Go figure!

I think public school teachers are some of the most amazing, selfless people in the world. I just don't think they can possibly divide themselves 25 different ways. I love the idea of being able to teach him about science by going out and doing and seeing and living the experiments, rather than reading about them in a text book or getting paired up with kid who drinks the blue stuff in the beaker.

It gets me excited thinking about it, so I'm trying to do all the research about different curriculum and approaches as I possibly can, but it's hard to find a non-religious home schooler. Of course faith will be played out in our daily lessons, just as it plays out in our daily lives, but I don't plan on censoring American literature (as one author suggested) because it talks about the death of a beloved pet! The very thought of censoring John Steinbeck made my hair fray! Can't I get some information from someone who chose home schooling as an option for a more flexible, more creative way of educating their child? Boo.

Anyway, It's midnight, and I know I should be in bed. With the new school year and with Josiah being a little older, I'd like to create some kind of daily routine...but that's hard when you're practicing the Attachment Method of parenting, and you lead a baby-led routine. I've been trying to figure out some kind of schedule that we could maybe begin to follow this fall just to make our lives a little more predictable, but feeding and napping on demand makes that difficult. But I'll never get into any kind of decent routine unless I get out of this summer sleep schedule, so good night!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jojo on the Road

We're in San Marcos for state solo and ensemble competition. I'm not crazy about San Marcos, but I was very excited about this trip because it is Josiah's first vacation ever. He handled the drive just fine... he slept the entire way. That was all well and good for the road, but the rest of the night may be less than fun for us since he's completely rested!

Traveling when you're nursing is no easy feat. Thankfully they make pumps of all different kinds to aid in such situations, but still, it hasn't been easy.

I think our hotel room has mildew in the carpet. It's damp and stinky. Great. And I recently stepped in it.

Travis is changing Josiah's diaper behind me, and all I hear is him saying, "Whew, tinky-tinky!" Lol.

My friend Kris Ann and my mother-in-law's friend Shannon threw Josiah a beautiful shower a few weeks ago. It was so nice for people to finally meet him who hadn't yet had the opportunity. We also received some lovely and very generous gifts from family and friends. I'm looking forward to visiting the outlet malls here in San Marcos because they have an Oshkosh outlet and a Carter's outlet. I just LOVE baby clothes. I can't have enough, and I love dressing him in cute little overalls and baby blue jeans. I have such a perfectly adorable palate to start with anyway, the rest is just icing.

I guess I'd better go. I don't know what we're doing for dinner, but wherever we go, I need to not look so gross.

New pictures soon to come.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

March for Josiah

Travis and I are planning to walk for March of Dimes at Mackenzie Park on Saturday the 25th. I was inspired to do so given the rocky road we had in getting Josiah here healthy. The organization funds hospitals and doctors in research for prevention of premature birth, fetal death, and low birth-weight babies. Obviously Josiah was a low birth-weight baby, and I received excellent care which I think contributed greatly to his safe arrival. If you're interested in walking with us, or sponsoring us in our walk, we've set a very modest goal of $200 for the organization, and we would love for all of you to help us reach our goal in whatever way you can. If you'd like to join us in walking on Saturday, please let me know and I'll be thrilled to add you to our tiny team. The link above will send you to the march of dimes website for more information, or will allow you to sponsor us and help contribute to our fundraising goal.

Thank you so much!
God bless,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bunnies, Boogers and Bubblebaths

Such a worried little Easter bunny. Poor little bug was sick on Easter, and still sounds absolutely horrible. He's just really congested. I don't want to take him to the doctor just yet though. He has yet to run any kind of fever, and it definitely sounds looser every day. He's still eating and smiling and acting fine. If I think it warrants a visit to the doc, we'll go of course, but for now I'm treating it with good old fashioned home remedies.

Since he was sick on Easter, our plans had to change pretty quickly, and instead of going out for Easter, Easter came to us. I was grateful for everyone coming out here to see him because I really didn't want to get him out for the long car ride all over creation to see family.

I had a dream last night that I was in the backseat with Josiah giving him a bottle because he was fussy, and we were driving very late at night. Next thing I knew, Travis was back there with us, cooing over the baby. No one was driving. We started veering off into certain death and I woke up to Tiny knocking over a collection of baby bottle lids in the kitchen. Weird.

With him being sick lately, I've done a craptastic job at keeping up with the little things that gradually creep up on you... such as his sticky under-the-neck milk beard. I've only bathed him once this week, and I fear my kid will eventually become the stinky kid at school. Either that or CPS will come knocking on my door because of my ragamuffin. It's hard remembering things like baths when your baby catches his first cold! Anyway, when I finally did give him a bath (poor neglected little duck), he LOVED it. He absolutely lives for bath time. This summer when we go to San Antonio for Travis's Texas Bandmasters Association convention, I'm introducing Josiah to the pool. I know he'll love it, and we'll love splashing around with him. It'll be so much fun.

Anyway, that's about all I know. Have a great week! Say a prayer that out little bug starts feeling better.

God bless,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Going and Growing

Our sweet Josiah is growing and growing. It's amazing watching him take in the world everyday. Every once in a while it occurs to me that while he's staring at a lamp, or at one of our kitties, he's learning something completely new to him, and it's changing him in every way. Seeing him grow is thrilling and devastating all at the same time. I can't wait to hear his little voice, or watch him crawl and later walk, but at the same time there's part of me that realizes with full rationale how short this newborn phase is. I take thousands of pictures, and try to soak in every precious moment I can. He's completely outgrown his preemie clothes, and when I pulled them out of the dresser to set aside, I had a good cry. I can't believe he was born so small, or that he's grown so quickly, and I guess it hit me that he'll never be that small again. I don't necessarily want a not-quite-five-pound baby forever, and of course I want him to be healthy, but perhaps the mothers out there understand the dichotomy of it all. I cried my eyes out watching him coo and kick in his little bouncy chair the other night. I think my emotions are mostly brought on by my recent diagnosis of Endometreosis.

Dr. Devine called Josiah my "final hurray baby", and said that the conception and safe delivery of him was a miracle, and the odds of me ever conceiving again are slim to none. On top of that, the odds of me having HG again are higher than 95% according to her, and she doesn't support the use of PICC lines, or TPNs, or a Zofran pump. She said she would do it if she had to, but I wouldn't be a present mother for Josiah. I went home feeling relieved at finally having a diagnosis of a condition I've suspected I've had for years, and closure at hearing from a professional that to try again would be dangerous. But I also felt disappointed, and that night at dinner I cried and told Travis that I want to adopt in America as well as internationally. A US adoption was once something I was totally opposed to given our ridiculous birth-mother right laws, but as I told him through tears, the thought of never holding a sweet newborn to my chest again absolutely breaks my heart. I can't even get through typing it out without getting choked up!

Josiah smiles more and more, and I've included pictures that demonstrate him practicing those precious smiles.

I'm staying at home with him full time, and we've talked at great length about keeping it that way. We both believe that being a full time mother is the most important job I could ever do (or that I will ever do). I do want to go back to school to get my nursing degree, but that can absolutely wait. I'm not diving into the ever-controversial mommy wars here, but I will say that I love the fact that we bond more and more each day because of our time together. I also love the fact that I never feel guilty leaving him with someone else. I never feel insecure that someone else has a larger influence on his precious mind or heart than me. We sing songs, read books, and I talk to him about Jesus everyday. You never can start too young. And there's endless cuddling, of course. He's such a happy baby, and for that I'm blessed and grateful. I feel more fulfilled knowing I'm doing the job God has called me to do than I've felt in six years. (Since before I got to Wayland and my ambitions became clouded).

We've decided that I'll home school him for Kindergarten at least. We both value public schools and the positive things they can bring to a child's life (says the wife of the public school teacher), but I felt that Kindergarten for me was an absolute joke. My grandmother kept me during the day, and she taught me all of my fundamentals before I started school. Preschool (I mean no offense to anyone when I say this) is entirely overrated, and parents rely on it as supplement instead of teaching their young children at home as we used to. Before privatized expensive government institutions, mothers used to teach their children to love reading, to properly piece together a sentence, and the fun and discovery that math and science can bring. All of this was instilled before sending them off to school. Now it's a big mess and a big rushing competition to make certain requirements and prepare them for public school, which will hold him to the standard of a state-mandated test score until he's eighteen years old! All of that ranting to say I'll teach him the basics and the fundamentals. I'm not sure it'll give him a head start in the long run, but for the time being, it'll definitely instill in him a lifelong love of reading, an appreciation in concepts our family values, and it'll allow me to take control of my son's education from the beginning. I don't plan on homeschooling him beyond that point, but if it becomes clear that that would be better for him, I'm completely open to it.

I love that he's opening his eyes more and taking in everything around him. Today he laid on my chest and held his head up to look around at the living room for several minutes before he got tired of it. His eyes have maintained their beautiful blue shade, something a nurse at the hospital predicted wouldn't last. Both of his parents have blue eyes, so his odds are great. She was just jealous :)

I'm sorry it's been so long since I updated. I've just been so busy with him, I can hardly keep my head on straight. It's been absolutely fantastic though. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

God bless,

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hello World!

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for all of your congratulatory remarks. Your support has meant so much to us over the past nine months. I can't believe the pregnancy is finally over, and that in the end, we were blessed so immensely with such a beautiful baby. I look at him and want to cry sometimes because he's so perfect and so sweet. I want to keep him young forever. Travis is excited for him to start opening his eyes more, and for his personality to begin developing, but I dig my heels in the sand for anything to change. I'm so weird. I couldn't wait to get the pregnancy over, and he's only been here for three days but I'm already praying that he doesn't grow up too fast. I just know little boys don't stay little for very long. But, with that knowledge, I cherish every tiny moment I share with him in these early stages.

We ended up needing to stay an extra day in the hospital because his bilirubin was high and he's quite jaundice. He's on the bili-light, which gives him the UV rays he needs to process the bilirubin. It was a little frustrating earlier because it makes him so tired to be on that light (and the jaundice alone makes him tired and cranky), so our feedings got off pretty bad. I was also really sick on Wednesday with a HORRIBLE headache, and I was really falling behind on feeding him. I felt like such a terrible mother. I kept crying because I knew I wasn't feeding him like I should have been, but I was so sick myself I could hardly think straight. Yesterday was much much better. I explained my concerns to our lactation consultant, (who is absolutely amazing) and she got us right back on track. I took a Phenagren shot to help me sleep, and Travis was able to feed him while I rested. When I finally woke up later, I felt like a new person, and I was more than able to fall back into my mommy role.

Anyway, all that said, here are pictures of the world (or our small corner of it) meeting our sweet Josiah:
Josiah meets Grandma Sharon (Kat's mom)
Josiah and Grandma Cindy (Travis's mom)
Josiah and Grandpa Prentiss (Kat's dad)
Josiah and Grandpa Glen finally meet (I think Glen was afraid to hold him because he's so very tiny.) Travis's dad

Josiah meets two of our close friends, Randy and Kris Ann Blodgett

Nanny and Josiah (Kat's grandmother)

Aunt Annie hurt herself a few weeks before Josiah's birthday, and was stuck at home in a wheelchair, but she and Fred came up to the hospital to meet her great-great nephew anyway. (Kat's great aunt)

Uncle Thomas meets his namesake. I'm not sure he's ever held a newborn, and I know he's never held such a tiny one before, so he was a little uncomfortable with our super small bundle in his arms. (Kat's brother)

Josiah meets his VERY excited cousin Brittany, who was up at the hospital at 7 in the morning to be there when he arrived. (Kat's cousin)

Josiah and Twyla meet for the first time, and then he meets Meredith, who has been anxiously awaiting getting to hold him for months and months. (Kat's stepmother and stepsister)

Dr. Devine meets the little trouble maker who caused her to sweat so much in the operating room Monday morning.

Josiah and his pediatrician, Dr. Stripling, who was also his mama's pediatrician for 20 years.

Sorry if that was long (or boring)! I'll continue posting pictures, because we can't seem to stop taking them. We're finally going home today (thankfully). Josiah is going to have to have a home health care worker come home with us to set up the bili-light at our apartment. Yuck. I really don't think he minds it too much though, because it keeps him warm and cozy. I'll post some pictures later of him on his bili-light. He's such a sweet baby, I feel terrible when he cries just for cuddles and we can't give it to him because he needs to be on the light longer. I keep stretching out our feeding sessions longer and longer because I think mom misses the cuddling probably even more than the baby does. We're all so ready to go home and get out of here!!

Thank you for keeping up with us! I promise to continue updating with lots and lots of adorable baby pictures. Have a wonderful weekend.

God bless,
Kathleen, Travis, and Josiah

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009: Josiah Day

WE HAD A BABY THIS MORNING! Josiah Thomas Glen was born at Covenant Lakeside hospital at 7:57 AM, 4 lbs. 13 oz., 19 inches long and absolutely perfect. The following pictures document our entire day.

Our morning began a little later than planned, after only 3 1/2 hours of sleep at 4:40 AM. Travis was up before me...

I had to grab one last "baby bump" picture at home. This would be the largest Kat ever...

We arrived at the hospital at precisely 5:30 AM. Things began to move quickly from that point on. They immediately had me hooked up to an IV and did a quick dopler to find Josiahs heart beat...

The nurse came in to inform me they were moving ahead of schedule. Instead of heading down at 7:30, they would be calling me at 7. I wanted to see my mom before I went in to surgery and became afraid that she was not going to make it to the hospital in time. To ease my anxiety, we took the very last baby bump pictures there will ever be...

They had a special set of scrubs for Travis to wear into the operating room. Doesn't he look dapper?

After we were both suited up, there was nothing left to do but wait to be called down, visit with family and pray. Glen, Cindy, Les, Valinda, Brittany, Mom, and Thomas were there before we headed to the OR. Uncle Les lead us all in a special prayer.

Right before entering the OR. This is our last family photo with the "unseen" Josiah. I was terrified. The nurses made me take off my wedding rings, and I tried to bargain with them to keep them on. Right before going in, we met with Dr. Roberts, the anesthesiologist, who was very understanding of my hyperemesis and drug sensitivities. We decided to risk the meds that make 20% of women very sick. Travis had to wait in the hallway about 15 minutes while they got my epidural set. I sobbed and shook all over and I don't think I would have made it through without one very sweet nurse who encouraged me to squeeze her hand and cry on her through the procedure.

I scared myself so badly, my blood pressure shot up to 154/94, and my heartrate was shot up to an unhealthy 150 bpm. When the epidural set in, it immediately brought down my blood pressure and heart rate so fast I required oxygen. Finally, Travis came in and he took my hand and comforted me.

Getting Josiah out was...interesting. Never one to miss an opportunity to do things differently, our once "head down" son decided to flip into a horizontal transverse position, showing his back and bottom to Dr. Devine and Dr. Burley. This unexpected gymnastic feat caught the doctors off guard, and made the C-section last a little longer. My sweet son hid from the doctors requiring five, 5, people (doctors and nurses) to scramble to try and flip him and squeeze him out of my rib cage. All I remember is Doctor Devine grunting and yelling "Come on, baby!" She's a very tall woman and was hunched over me in a very aggressive position to extract our little gymnist. At one point, Dr. Roberts, who stayed by my head the whole time, reached for my rib cage and gave an aggressive push on Josiah to assist Dr. Devine's efforts. I wasn't so much scared as I was bemused. When he was finally out, he was a little tired and a little blue, so it took the nurses a minute or two to get that first cry. When they did, he was a blonde headed banshee. The entire time they were trying to rouse him, Dr. Devine and Dr. Burley were making threatening comments about how he deserved to be in "Timeout" for giving them such a hard time.

I watched on as the nurses revived him, comforted by the tiny whimper sounds that quickly grew into angry screams. Our limp and pale little boy quickly became a red faced screaming monkey. Upon seeing his blonde hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows I immediately became concerned that I had given birth to an angry albino child. In a weak voice, I said to Travis through approaching tears "is he he albino?" He chuckled and reassured me that he was perfect...and not albino.

Our angry baby, who managed to elude doctors through his delivery (not to mention the entire pregnancy) came out tiny, but in perfect health. We were thrilled to see that he would require no time in NICU and had a very powerful set of lungs on him.

Surprisingly, he was born even smaller than predicted. As you recall, at his last BPP, he was measured at an approximate 5 lbs 1 oz. However, our beautiful boy made his grand debut into the world at a tiny, but mighty, 4 lbs 12.4 oz. The nurses graciously rounded up. Personally, I think his personality alone can account for the allotted .6 oz.

I was thrilled that Travis was the first person to hold him. I'm glad he got that very special opportunity. I was even more thrilled that Josiah was born in perfect health, allowing me to hold him and bond with him in the OR as well.

Introducing...The McCullloughs!!! Our first family photos.

While I was in recovery, Travis had the privilege of introducing Josiah to his "Paparazzi," as his giant welcome wagon became labeled by our nurses.

Two generations of two very handsome McCullough men. This is my family!!

Studly Josiah with his bright eyes open. "They found me. I don't know how, but they found me. They think they can contain me."

Travis in the newborn nursery with Josiah. After a nurse took the first picture, she informed him that he was indeed allowed to touch his child, so she took a second picture. lol

Getting to know each other in the Post-Partem

I'm so blessed that he does not have to spend any time in NICU. I was only in recovery for 45 minutes, and as soon as I was out, I was able to start nursing and get some of that precious bonding time that some women miss out on after c-sections. It didn't take us long to catch up on those missed hours...

Tired and sore mom...

Look at that nearly-white head of hair! I was telling Travis just a week ago, "I hope he has blonde hair!"

"Thank you, Lord for getting me here safely. And thank you for not letting my mommy die. Amen."

So that was our Josiah day. He's perfect and precious. We'll have many more pictures to post. I'm so exhausted, but he's wonderful and so worth it. I'm gonna go take a nap before he needs to be fed again.

We want to thank everyone for their prayers and words of encouragement that brought our sweet baby here in perfect health. We could not ask for more. Thank you all so so much.

God bless,
Kathleen, Travis, and Josiah